Daniel Chapter 11
Daniel 11:1 “Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, [even] I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.”
This is the beginning of the things that Daniel was told to understand in the vision. Some believe this was actually Cyrus, instead of Darius. For our study here, it makes no difference who was the king. We are looking at the spiritual side of these lessons, not the technical.
The messenger of 10:10 continues to speak of assisting Michael, even as Michael had strengthened him (in the battle with demons in 10:21), confirming Darius in his purpose of kindness to Israel in decreeing their return.
Verses 2-45: (As in 8:3-26), this prophecy sweeps all the way from the history of spiritual conflict in Israel (11:2-35), to the tribulation (verses 36-42), when Michael aids in fully delivering Israel (12:1). The detail of this history is so minute and accurate so confirmed by history, that unbelieving critics have, without evidence, insisted that it was actually written 400 years later than Daniel, after it had happened which would have made the prophet a deceiver. The prophecy actually looks ahead from Daniel to the final Antichrist.
The section (of 2-35), unfolds the near fulfillment of the Persian kingdom and the reign of Greece through Antiochus Epiphanes.
Daniel 11:2 “And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than [they] all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.”
These Persian kings are speaking of those who reigned after Babylon was taken by Cyrus. Those were Cambyses (530-522 B.C.); Pseudo-Smerdis (522 B.C.); and Darius I Hystaspes (522-486 B.C.).
The fourth is Xerxes I, called Ahasuerus in Esther (486-465 B.C.). Kings after Xerxes are not included, probably because Xerxes’ failed military campaign against the Greeks (481-479 B.C.). sounded the beginning of the end for Persia, which finally fell (331 B.C.), to Alexander the Great.
Daniel 11:3 “And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.”
This is speaking of Alexander the Great of Greece. Alexander the Great destroyed the armies of Persia. He was powerful in his rule. Many thought he might rule the world.
Daniel 11:4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
After the death of Alexander (in 323 B.C.), four generals who were not of his posterity took sectors of his wide empire.
Even this great kingdom, falls to the Roman Empire.
The king of the South is Egypt. One of the princes under the king rises to overthrow the king. The king of the North (Aram or Syria), receive emphasis (in verse 5 and after). As time moved on other leaders ruled, crossing and re-crossing Palestine.
Daniel 11:5 “And the king of the south shall be strong, and [one] of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion [shall be] a great dominion.”
King of the South represents the Ptolemies, the leaders of Egypt, contrasted often (in verse 5), with the king of the North, the Seleucids leaders of Syria (verse 6). South and North are in relation to Palestine, for which the angel Gabriel, speaking in the passage, is so concerned. (Verses 5 – 20), cover almost 200 years of wars between these bordering powers.
Daniel 11:6 “And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in [these] times.”
The king of Egypt shall enter into the kingdom of the north to make an agreement. It appears, a daughter tries to marry, to help the agreement to be signed. She is not accepted, and neither is the agreement signed. The expedition is a failure.
Berenice, daughter of Egypt’s Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.), married Syria’s King Antiochus II Theos (261-246 B.C.). The latter part of the verse refers to the political advantage they hoped the alliance would produce. Antiochus divorced his wife to marry Berenice. Later that divorced wife murdered Berenice, her baby son, and even Antiochus by poisoning him. Thus she brought her own son, Seleucus II Callinicus, to the throne.
Daniel 11:7 “But out of a branch of her roots shall [one] stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:”
The murdered Berenice’s brother stood in his father’s place. His name was Ptolemy III Euergetes of Egypt (246-222 B.C.), and in reverse he conquered Syria, sacking their great treasure (verse 8).
Daniel 11:8 “And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, [and] with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue [more] years than the king of the north.”
This is speaking of Egypt prevailing over Syria. The precious things shall be carried as bounty back to Egypt.
Daniel 11:9 “So the king of the south shall come into [his] kingdom, and shall return into his own land.”
Syria’s Callinicus attacked Egypt (in 240 B.C.), but retreated, soundly beaten.
Daniel 11:10 “But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and [one] shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, [even] to his fortress.”
Seleucus’ sons (successors), kept up war against Egypt, as described (in verses 11-35).
Daniel 11:11″ And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, [even] with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.”
The word “choler” means bitter. His bitterness caused the king of Egypt to come against the king of Syria.
The army, spoken of as a multitude, was about 75,000. The multitude falls into enemy hands. They were defeated here. Ptolemy IV Philopator (222-203 B.C.), devastated the Syrian army under Antiochus III the Great (223-187 B.C.). Egypt’s advantage would be brief (verse 12).
Daniel 11:12 “[And] when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down [many] ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened [by it].”
Even though the multitude was captured, their captor is not strengthened. Great numbers do not make a great army. Great leadership and great causes, make a great army.
Gideon’s army of 300 caused the multitude (so many they were like grasshoppers), of Amalekites and Midianites to flee.
The size of an army is not important. God’s blessing on that army is what is important.
Daniel 11:13 “For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.”
A king of Syria shall rise up and attack Egypt. This king will be very rich.
Thirteen years later Antiochus returned with a great army, and in a series of strikes against Egypt brought Palestine (the Beautiful Land), into his control as far South as Gaza.
Daniel 11:14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
Violent Jews wanted Judean independence from Egypt, but failed in their revolt.
This happens almost as if it were to fulfill the prophecy.
Daniel 11:15 “So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither [shall there be any] strength to withstand.”
The king of the north is Syria. It appears from this they come against Israel, as well as against Egypt. Egypt or Israel will not be able to withstand.
As we read in Ezekiel, a mount is a mountain of dirt. Which is built up and pushed up against the walls, thus allowing soldiers to breach the top by simply walking up the mount and onto the top.
Daniel 11:16 “But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.”
The glorious land is speaking of the land of Israel. The land of Israel is consumed, as well as Egypt being attacked.
This speaks of Antiochus III the Great who took lasting dominion over Israel.
The land of Israel is consumed, as well as Egypt being attacked.
Daniel 11:17 “He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand [on his side], neither be for him.”
Antiochus gathered all his forces together for the conquest of Egypt. When he realized the power of Rome, he tried to make a treaty with Ptolemy. He gave Cleopatra to him to wife, to help in the treaty. He thought she would act as a spy for him in the kingdom, but this did not happen.
Cleopatra was true to her husband, instead of spying for her father. She, along with her husband, even sent congratulations to Rome, when they overthrew her father’s army.
Daniel 11:18 “After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause [it] to turn upon him.”
Antiochus took advantage of the defeat of Phillip of Macedon by the Romans, and he took the islands of the archipelago. He had set his sights to conquer Greece, along the Mediterranean coastlands. But this brought him into conflict with Rome, so that a Roman, Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, repaid the Syrian aggression against Roman rights in the area with a resounding defeat.
Daniel 11:19 “Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.”
Antiochus returned from defeat to his own land compelled by Rome to relinquish all his territory west of the Taurus and to repay the costs of war. He was likely killed by defenders of a Persian temple he tried to plunder at night in Elymais (to get money to pay reparations required by Rome).
Daniel 11:20 “Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes [in] the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.”
Rome required Seleucus IV Philopator to render tribute. The Romans put heavy payment requirements on all those they controlled. The Syrian set out to tax his subjects heavily to raise the tribute. Soon, he died after being poisoned.
Daniel 11:21 “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”
(In verses 21-35), the cruelest king of the North was Seleucid, the Syrian persecutor of Israel named Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He came to the throne when his brother Seleucus was murdered and a son of the dead king who might succeed him, Demetrius I Soter, was held hostage in Rome. In the vacuum, Antiochus seized power in Syria.
Daniel 11:22 “And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.”
The prince that had made covenant was on the side of this one, who took over without a fight. Egypt’s armies were swept away by Antiochus’ invading forces as by a flood.
Daniel 11:23 “And after the league [made] with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.”
This has to do with Epiphanes receiving the throne. This has nothing to do with power, but is trickery in action. It appears he made an agreement and then did not keep his bargain.
Antiochus developed an alliance with Ptolemy VI Euergetes II (distinct from the leader in verse 7). By this alliance, Antiochus deceitfully plotted to gain greater power in Egypt. With a “small force,” he conquered Memphis and the rest of Egypt all the way to Alexandria.
Daniel 11:24 “He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do [that] which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: [yea], and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.”
Antiochus, under the guise of friendship, plundered the richest Egyptian places he could strike. To gain support, he gave lavish gifts, possibly battle spoils.
“His devices against the strong hold”: He formed a scheme to take over Egypt.
Daniel Chapter 11 Questions
1. What is verse 1 the beginning of?
2. Who is this 4th king of Persia that verse 2 is speaking of?
3. Which of the kings attacked Greece?
4. Who is the mighty king, that rises up in Greece?
5. What happens, to his kingdom?
6. This great kingdom of Greece falls to ________.
7. The king of the south is king of what country?
8. What happens when the daughter tries to help get an agreement for Egypt?
9. They land of the north is ___________.
10. Egypt prevails over __________.
11. What does “choler” mean?
12. What happens to the multitude mentioned in verse 11?
13. What makes a great army?
14. _________ army of 300 caused the armies of the Amalekites and Midianites to flee?
15. How many were in the army of the Amalekites and Midianites in the battle against Gideon?
16. The king of Syria comes against ________, as well as against Egypt.
17. What country is the glorious land?
18. Antiochus brought his army against whom?
19. What did he do, when he began to fear Rome?
20. Who was the woman given in marriage to Ptolemy?
21. Did she spy for her father, as he wanted?
22. What did Antiochus take, because of the defeat of Phillip of Macedon by Rome?
23. What happened to Antiochus?
24. When he fails in his conquest, what does he do?
25. They raised taxes for what purpose?
26. Verse 24 is speaking of ____________ entering into Palestine, or Egypt.